Carol Lee Cikanek

Carol Lee Cikanek, nee Kersten, 72, a longtime Hinsdale resident, passed away unexpectedly Dec. 7, 2023.

Carol Lee was born in Chicago in 1950. She grew up in Berwyn and graduated from nearby Nazareth Academy. Carol met her husband George at 15. They went for a motorcycle ride and have been inseparable since.

In 1974, Carol and George bought a house in Hinsdale, where she would discover her life's passion - being a mom. With gentle kindness and boundless energy, she devoted herself to her three boys. She maintained a tidy home with an open door, and her backyard always buzzing with neighborhood kids. Carol was a perennial class mom, beginning at Madison School in the 1980s and maintaining her sense of duty to her boys and their classmates through college and beyond. Later, Carol adopted and cared for her daughters-in-law and grandchildren as if they were her own.

Carol firmly believed that there was nothing better in life than being a mom. As such, she dutifully and joyfully assumed her responsibilities as a caretaker, craft maker, homemaker, problem-solver, coach and creator of magical holiday gatherings. No one was excluded from her generosity of spirit, and many sought her guidance.

The greater Hinsdale community knew Carol Lee as "Your Village Realtor." She was 42 when she sold her first home in 1992. In a career that spanned more than 30 years, Carol guided her clients through more than 500 transactions on homes in and around Hinsdale. In 2003, she sold the residence of former Chicago White Sox slugger, Frank Thomas, for $7.95 million. It was the highest-value sale recorded in DuPage County until 2023.

Carol's work as a Realtor carried a deep sense of purpose - to make Hinsdale accessible to young adults and families. She supported this mission by coaching clients on how to prepare and market their homes for sale to individuals and families seeking a way into the town she adored. Her approach created value and built trust with her clients, and it preserved the historic character of the township.

Carol was a member of the Hinsdale Plan Commission and The Garden Study Club of Hinsdale, and a longtime parishioner of St. Isaac Jogues. She leaves behind her beautiful garden, historic home and a family blessed by her maternal love and care.

She is survived by her husband, George Charles Cikanek; her children, Benjamin George (Jessica) Cikanek, Nathaniel Lee (Susanne) Cikanek and Zachary Charles (Jolyn) Cikanek; her nine grandchildren; and her siblings, Thomas Kersten, James Kersten, Pamela Ajax and Jeanine Matz.

Visitation is from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale.

Family and friends will meet Monday for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Isaac Jogues Church, 306 W. Fourth St., Hinsdale.

Interment will follow at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton.

The family asks that gifts of flowers embrace the holiday season, or in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to Nazareth Academy at